The ongoing evolution of software-as-service (SaaS) platforms has resulted in more streamlined business processes for manufacturers and distributors who implement them, often resulting in a competitive advantage.
Jason Howton, TAKE Supply Chain
The ability to collaborate effectively and efficiently in supplier management activities is a critical need for many manufacturers and distributors in today’s globalized business environment.
Implementation and use of software-as-service (SaaS) platforms is one way manufacturers and distributors have attempted to foster better collaboration and engagement in their relationships with suppliers. The ongoing evolution of these platforms has resulted in more streamlined business processes for manufacturers and distributors, often resulting in a competitive advantage.
“We’re moving our manufacturing all over the world, all the time,” said Jason Howton, Director of Product Management for TAKE Supply Chain, an innovator of software solutions designed to power demand-driven networks. “And if you look at supply chains, being able to move products quickly is extremely difficult.”
A recent shift towards globalization and a reliance on outsourcing has changed the way the industrial marketplace has conducted business. This shift has resulted in many challenges, some of which involve added expense for manufacturers and distributors.
However, some of the features offered by SaaS platforms can be used to overcome some of the logistical challenges manufacturers and distributors face in a global business marketplace.
TAKE Supply Chain recently announced an upgrade to its OneSCM online supplier management platform. The upgraded version of the platform sought to address some of the logistical challenges that negatively affect supplier management activities. OneSCM features multi-tier, multi-tenant SaaS architecture and interface enhancements that are designed to facilitate better synchronization between buyers and suppliers, who sometimes find themselves in opposite corners of the globe.
While there has been a recent trend toward the consolidation of supply chains, this can be a difficult endeavor for many manufacturers and distributors. Therefore, they are forced to consider alternative solutions that seek to improve the quality of their supply chain relationships.
“You have all this complexity of infrastructure to bring up a new location (to manufacturer and distribute products from), and once you get that location up, it’s so expensive to make another move,” said Howton. “As you go into SAAS, all (of) that burden is released. Now somebody has a connection to the Internet, and you have the capability to transact … with your suppliers in an easy and efficient way.”
Given the uncertain state of the global economy, the cost of implementing SaaS platforms has deterred some manufacturers and distributors from fully embracing the collaborative technology. Furthermore, the task of teaching suppliers how to engage with SaaS platforms has also proven to be a challenge.
When undertaking its efforts to upgrade OneSCM, TAKE Supply Chain addressed some of the drawbacks to using SaaS platforms by simplifying the user interface of the platform to maximize productivity, minimize the need for training, and offer a clearer view of relevant data.
“We took a supplier-centric view of this,” said Kerry Nelson, Marketing Director for TAKE Supply Chain. “A lot of people take the buyer’s point of view. That’s an easier route to go. We took that, but also took into consideration the supplier’s view.”
According to Howton, OneSCM allows suppliers to not only provide information and collaborate back to their customers, but also to take some actual ownership in the application itself.
The benefits for manufacturers and distributors are also equally as obvious.
“If you have an approval hierarchy or a decision process that has to be made… those steps can be configured in the tool,” he added. “That’s going to allow a company to maintain the competitive advantage of their business processes.”
For more information, visit www.takesupplychain.com.